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Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton hits back at FIA clampdown: If they stop me, we've got spare drivers

Formula 1's governing body, the FIA, have introduced some new measures, aimed at stopping drivers from wearing jewellery items whilst racing.

Hamilton Bahrain
Article
To news overview © Michael Potts / RacingNews365

Lewis Hamilton has described the clampdown on drivers wearing jewellery as "a step backwards" for Formula 1 and says he would sign a waiver to shift any blame away from the FIA should his personal items cause him any harm.

The seven-time World Champion was wearing three watches, a bracelet, earrings, multiple necklaces and a nose stud as he addressed the media in Miami on Friday.

"I couldn't get any more jewellery on today," he joked, speaking to select members of the press, including RacingNews365.com.

It comes with the FIA looking to clamp down on drivers wearing certain jewellery. Those jewellery rules have been in place since 2005, but have never been stringently enforced.

Ahead of this weekend's Miami Grand Prix, the FIA have introduced addendums to the scrutineering documentation to include checks for jewellery.

The teams must declare that the drivers are not wearing jewellery, and that their racing underwear also adheres to the FIA's fire-proof safety standards.

			© RN365/Michael Potts
	© RN365/Michael Potts

Hamilton concerned by what the FIA are focusing on

Hamilton is concerned that the FIA's clampdown shows a step in the wrong direction for the sport, with the 37-year-old looking to make a statement with his Friday attire.

"I feel like it's almost like a step backwards," he continued.

"If you think of the steps we're taking as a sport, and the more important issues and causes that we need to be focusing on and really pushing.

"I think we made such great strides as a sport. Now we're here in Miami and this is such a small thing.

"I've been in the sport for 16 years; I've been wearing jewellery for 16 years. In the car, I only have my earrings on and my nose ring, which I can't even remove, so it seems unnecessary for us to get into this spat."

Hamilton warns: If they stop me, we've got spare drivers

Hamilton has even suggested that Mercedes could be forced to turn to a reserve driver at F1's headline US event, should the FIA prevent him from racing with jewellery.

He said: "I think we've got bigger fish to fry, bigger things to do, more impact to have, so I think that's really where the focus should be.

"It's platinum, that I have, so it's not magnetic, and it's never been a safety issue in the past. I've had so many MRI scans, for example, and I don't have to take out my platinum ones, because it's not an issue.

"If they stop me, so be it. We have spare drivers, so we're ready and prepared for the weekend. There is lots to do in this city so I'll be good either way!"

Hamilton will speak with FIA President before Miami race

Ahead of Sunday's race, Hamilton says he will speak to new FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem about the jewellery issue.

"I'm willing to sign a waiver, to take the responsibility away from them [the FIA], if they want me to," said Hamilton, who justified his decision to wear three watches by adding that "they're on three different time zones".

"I tried calling Mohammed this morning, he was busy, but I sent him a message just reassuring him that I want to be an ally. I don't want to fight. It's very, very silly.

"But I've not heard back yet, so maybe he's texting me, I don't know. But I'll try and speak to him before the race."

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